School of Social Work, York University - Statement of Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en
We the School of Social Work at York University recognize that we exist on the area known as Tkaronto, which has been care taken by the Huron-Wendat, Anishinabek Nation, and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. We acknowledge the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who we exist in Treaty with on this land. Toronto is now home to many Indigenous Peoples, and is subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region. Living in this territory we too hold responsibilities to the people, creatures, lands and waters of this region and seek to uphold these treaty relationships.
Central to these relationships is the affirmation of the self-determination of Indigenous peoples as custodians over these territories and guardians of the collective futurity of its inhabitants (mineral, animal and human alike). As such, we seek to lend our voices to the chorus of those in support of the Wet’suwet’en people, their clan governance systems, and hereditary chiefs, while also condemning the actions of the Canadian government for violently interfering on this territory and with the bodies of those defending the land and its people.
The Canadian Government under the leadership of Justin Trudeau has committed to an ongoing process of restoring relationship with Indigenous peoples, promising Truth and Reconciliation, as well as a fulfilling it’s obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). UNDRIP expressly condemns forced removal in Article 10, “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories”. As such, we call for the withdrawal of the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territory, and support the right of the Wet’suwet’en people to continue in their actions to protect the lands, waters, and futures of their people. We acknowledge they do this as well for all of us, and creation. We also call on other departments and institutions across Turtle Island to join in condemning this state violence against Indigenous nations.
School of Social Work